The harsh reality of wildfires

Forest fires result from the interaction of several factors: climate change, accumulation of dry or combustible material and social changes.

Evolution of wildfires

Nowadays, we have forests that were actually planted with a different perspective, in another decade, and with other social, economic and ecological conditions. Basically, there are four points that have changed in this time:

  1. Forest management vission
  2. Knowledge of fire ecology
  3. Climate itself, due to climate change
  4. Changes in human presence, which has increased in the tropics and has decreased in many warm areas.

For these four reasons, wildfires are very different now than they were just half a century ago. In warm areas, rural depopulation brings with it the accumulation of combustible material, which adds to climate warming, global warming and droughts to generate fires of huge dimensions.

There have been many wildfires that have broken all kinds of records in extension, duration and intensity, affecting not only ecosystems but also infrastructures and also the lives of the people in the area

These fires, which have reached dimensions and intensities never seen before, have modified the climatic conditions of an entire region, advantaging the progress of the fire itself.


How fires are shaped

Fires start with the formation of fire clouds or pilocumulus. Hot air ascends with ashes and particles and generates real firestorms that increase the speed of the wind and with it, the oxygenation of the fire and its expansion.

These storms, in the most extreme cases, form fiery tornadoes. These are eddies in which the rising air catalyzes oxygen and temperature conditions that feed back into the fire itself. They can reach up to a kilometer with winds more than 150 km/h winds in their interior. They are absolutely uncontrollable and if you are aorund, you can only get to safety.

Fires in tropical regions

In tropical regions such as the Amazon, Africa or Polynesia, we are concerned how ground is being lost due to fires caused to gain ground for agriculture and animal breeding.

These fires in tropical areas have three important causes:

  1. They often deviate from initially planned areas and invade primary forest.
  2. Herb cover is lost and in many cases also the ability to generate rain, which is essential locally and regionally for the crops themselves and to regenerate the forest.
  3. A very important property of these tropical forests is lost, which is to act as carbon reservoirs that help mitigate climate change.

With the dimensions of the new fires once they take place, the work of the firefighters brigades becomes increasingly arduous and hard. The first step to ending them is preventing them.